The Dramaless Strain (How Older Hippies Reduce Drama) by Rick London

       It was a very good day today.  Most of my days are very good.   For the younger crowd, you might have called your psychiatrist to make certain your Prozac prescription was renewed for the next 250 years, but for me, it was ideal. 

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       Number one, it was drama-free.  I love days that are drama-free.  Don’t get me wrong; I do understand the ups and downs that life can purvey, but I worked very hard for very many years to live a life that involved very little drama.  My younger days had more drama than Les Miserables on steroids, so you can imagine how grateful I am for the serenity.

       My beloved wife Lee and I drank our delicious smoothies (which she concocts every morning) and enjoyed it while reading several newspapers online and getting a little work done.     Someone once asked me how many newspapers and periodicals I read and I really don’t know the answer so I just gave it an educated guess, “About twice as many as Sarah Palin”.

      A little before mid-afternoon, the weather was turning mild; about 65 degrees without a cloud in the sky.  That is the perfect time to hike the Hot Springs Mountain Loop.  Lee and I were both excited because a lot of the wildflowers that had been elusive or gone all year, were and are back.  So are a lot of the birds and butterflies.   This might not sound like much, but remember, we had a whole year of severe droughts and forest fires followed by a brutal blizzard which destroyed about 75% of our beloved forest.  It felt like a death in the family.  All the wildlife was gone for a month. Not a bird. Not an insect. Not a wildflower. 

      Then suddenly we saw a few warblers here, a cardinal there, a few butterflies riding the wind and occasionally landing on the lone wildflower.   Today, still very bare in many parts, little bits of green are returning and pink and red buds and berries are peeking their way out of the end of tree branches.  For a better view of this drop by Lee’s HikeOurPlanet.com.   To see a comparison of what it was like, say 2 years ago, simply go into her archives.  It truly looked like a Peruvian rain forest.  It has a long way to go before it is back to that, but we’re patient, and we still love it, and all it offers.  Lee heard a deer today. Sadly one ran downtown two Sundays ago and into a store window.  Chances are it was searching for food.  It did not survive. 

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     At the top of Hot Springs Mountain two large robins greeted us up close for a photo-shoot.  Lee was too busy shooting and trying to name some rare wildflowers so I took “The Magic Box”, Lee’s old camera that I inherited, and made sure the robins got equal time. 

     We’ve got bears, panthers, mountain lions, snakes, wolves, foxes, and just about every animal you could imagine.  They are surprising in that they are shy.  They do not look at humans as their prey.  Bears are about the most unpredictable and we carry extremely loud alarms which they do not like, causes their ears pain and they move along.

     Today, we heard a wild turkey toward the end of the hike.  We could tell where it was, but it was very shy and not in the mood for human companionship.

      We came home and turned on the tv and ate a lot of whatever was left in the fridge.

      If you look up, you see “the typical day of a semi-retired 58 year old”.  What makes me laugh is that it just seems like yesterday I couldn’t wait for my subscription of Rolling Stone to arrive, see which bands were the hottest, when they were coming to the nearest venue (which used to be The Warehouse in New Orleans), a place many of us have incredible memories, and even more incredible non-memories. Well, you know they say if you don’t remember the 60s or 70s you were probably there.  And though I’m no longer a party person, yes I did inhale.  Don’t worry…I have zero political ambitions.

     But today, I had a drama-free life.  I came up with a few gift ideas for my shops which I’ll make tomorrow, and then at about 6pm CST starts Shabbat.  Ironically, I was born Jewish, Lee is studying to be, and she knows 100 times more about how it is celebrated than I do.  But I’m a good student, and I know I like challah so I imagine I’ll be quite the mensch….a drama-less mensch at that.

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Rick London is a writer, songwriter, designer and cartoonist. He founded Londons Times Cartoons (LTCartoons.com) in 1997 which became Google’s #1 ranked Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts in 2005 and have remained at that ranking for the past 7 years with nearly 8 million visitors.  He also designs more serious gifts and collectibles at such shops like his RickLondonDesigns.com which carry famous quote gifts.    He is married to popular nature/wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London who runs the nature blog HikeOurPlanet.com.  

 

Hey GOP: It’s The Message, Stupid (Not The Delivery)

  As you know, many (REAL) Republicans voted for President Obama.  When asked what went wrong, most Tea Partiers are saying “It wasn’t the message, it was the way it was delivered”.  Let me give you a subtle hint…..WRONG!  What you were offering was not even close to Conservative. It would have been the biggest government in the history of the world.

  Privatization of important government functions ala Herbert Hoover which led us straight into the great depression.  Sending immigrants born and raised here to their parents homeland?   Virtually legalizing rape so you can criminalize abortion?  Feeling the adrenaline run of old white men sending young men overseas to die for whatever reason?  Policing everyone’s bedroom to make sure they were behaving? (I imagine behaving means “anything but what our own Republican Patreaus does”). Making certain gays did not get equal rights to the rest of us.   You get an A+ on delivery.   We heard everything perfectly.   The message was what killed you. It was/is dismal.   Do you have any idea how big a government that is?  Even an inkling?  And how horrendous it would make our country in all the rest of the world’s eyes?  A government like that is like “Stalinism on Steroids”; so much larger and every bit as evil as Stalin’s Soviet Union its uncanny.   And you think it was the way the message was delivered.

 Might want to get back to Karl and Grover on that one. They led you astray with that too; not to mention taking all your money with guarantees of a grand victory.  You’re not mad at me. If you have any sense at all you’re mad at them and the fringe right of your “party”.  THEY brought you down. Not Obama, not me, not anyone but them.   Look within when something is that very wrong.  It can be fixed, but anger is a luxury you can’t afford (unless it is directed properly and released) so you can move on from it. 

The people have spoken.  We do not want America to go back to the dark ages.    We do not like abortion, but we also are educated enough to know that the pro-life movement is so archaic, it causes millions of more abortions than it prevents.    They have become the party of “More Abortions And Dangerous Ones”. The pro-choice movement has become the party of less abortions, much less,  in medical environments and prevention using contraceptives, education, and family planning.

We don’t want your message.  Rewrite it, edit it,  sugar coat it, make it even seem sane (if that is possible).  We don’t want it.  If its good for you. Live it.  Exchange those values in your religious institution. You are not converting us or anyone else via government. That is a theocracy, and that is why we have gone to war for years……to fight theocracies due to how evil they are.  In just religion, these ideas are benign and fine.  They are for you. They are not for  you to impose upon us, any more than I would impose my beliefs upon you.  Make sense?   And I am a strong believer in G-d and I have much faith.  But if you don’t that is fine with me.  In fact I demand it.  Be you, because that’s all you can be.  If you start being me, then you’ve lost you. 

America wants Planned Parenthood as it saves lives.    We don’t want a theocracy.  Really.  If the die-hard Tea Partyers want a theocracy, find a place and form one and “Theoc away to your heart’s content”.  We’ve seen your little power game and have no interests.   America is a melting pot of all races, creeds, religions etc and before long,  all of us will have equal rights (in spite of you). 

You can join us (far right) but you have got to learn to behave.   You don’t set the rules.  America does.  And lately, you’ve proven you do not want to play by America’s rules (the Constitution).  If they bother you that much, I bet anything we could talk an airline into offering free one way tickets to ANYWHERE you’d like to go.  Because if you try this again, (Block & Blame: What your Congresspersons did to Obama),  you will see your party so voted out, you will try to remember the name of it.  Really.  Don’t get mad at me. I’m just listening to the word on the street and passing the word.    Now lets go be Americans or lets bid each other farewell.

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Rick London is a writer, cartoonist and designer living in the Ouachata Mountains of Arkansas. He founded Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts Londons Times Cartoons & Gifts and several other mainstream online shops like Rick London Designs featuring wisdom quotes gifts and cartoon sites that feature famous people in his cartoons. He is married to nature/wildlife photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller-London of the Lee Hiller Designs Brand.